Australian allrounder Cameron Green has discovered a new technique for alleviating the pressure on himself early in an innings, but keeping the mental demons at bay later on is still a work in process.
Green’s emergence as a rising Test star continued on Tuesday when he struck a composed 79 off 163 balls in the third Test against Pakistan in Lahore.
The 22-year-old’s 135-run partnership with Alex Carey helped Australia build a respectable first-innings total of 391.
In reply, Pakistan were 1-90 at stumps on day two, with Abdullah Shafique (45no) and Azhar Ali (30no) the unbeaten batsmen.
Green has built a series of important partnerships in his recent Test knocks, and it’s something that has helped his confidence early in an innings.
“Something I found recently that helped is looking at the partnership score instead of my own score,” Green said.
“Firstly it takes a bit of pressure off myself when I look up at the scoreboard and I’m only on 12.
“If the partnership is on 30, you feel calmer. That’s what I’ve been trying to do recently, focus on partnerships and my own score will gradually increase. That’s what me and Alex did.”
In his last six Test innings dating back to the Ashes, Green has struck scores of 74, 74, 23, 48, 28, and 79.
He also scored 84 against India in Sydney last year.
Green is desperate to post a Test century, saying it would rate higher than snaring a five-for with the ball.
But the closer he gets to three figures, the more the distracting thoughts in his head grow.
“Unfortunately I keep having thoughts run through my head when I’m out in the middle,” Green said.
“It’s something that’s a bit of an issue now because they keep popping it. I’ve got to keep working on that, feeling comfortable when you get close to it.
“It (a Test century) is something I’ve been working towards my whole life.”
Green was undone by a peach of a delivery on day two, with Pakistan paceman Naseem Shah producing a reverse-swing masterclass to get the ball to sneak through the all-rounder’s bat and pad.